172722 Applied Topics in the Essentials of Public Health: A Skill-based Course Model to Enhance the Competency of Entry to Mid Level Public Health Practitioners

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 4:30 PM

Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH , Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Holly Tutko, MS , Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Focused efforts to enhance the infrastructure and core services of public health, particularly at the local level, require flexible educational programs that are available to practitioners. To assist in this necessity, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has developed a Public Health Certificate (PHC) Program designed to strengthen knowledge and skills in basic public health competencies for those whom the MPH degree is not desirable, timely, or necessary for their career trajectory. A distinctive feature of the UNH PHC is its culminating course, “Applied Topics in the Essentials of Public Health.” This course entails a practical, applied learning experience where students explore a variety of essential public health services (EPHS) that are relevant to their career goals. The students attain this experience by participating in six workshops that address, at minimum, four different EPHS. Following the workshops, the students write a comprehensive paper that 1) describes how each workshop enhanced his/her competency to perform a specific EPHS, and 2) using the ten EPHS as a guide, provides an analysis of where they need to strengthen their competencies to be a more well-rounded public health professional. Lessons learned from administering the course have been critical to enhancing this applied learning format. The practice of public health is changing and the education of public health practitioners must be adaptable. This culminating course provides a unique, skill-based learning opportunity for professionals pursuing advanced public health education, and serves as a model for how to incorporate relevant public health competencies into knowledge-based PHC programs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of having a flexible, skill-based course within a knowledge-based public health certificate program. 2. Describe the framework and process for implementing a skill-based course to improve the competency of entry to mid level public health practitioners to perform the ten essential services of public health. 3. Review the benefits and challenges of implementing a skill-based course for developing well-rounded, competent public health professionals.

Keywords: Public Health Curriculum, Public Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I did the research and have no conflicts of interest.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.